Energy resources are powerful drivers of any economy. Energy resources support various sectors of the economy particularly manufacturing and transportation, which are essential elements for economic growth. Therefore, depletion of the energy resources that most economies so highly depend on, may adversely affect the livelihoods of many people. However, through sustainable use of the energy resources, particularly the non-renewable energy resources, these disastrous effects can be prevented.
A mitigation plan for renewable resources differs from that of non-renewable energy resources. Renewable energy resources are constantly renewed and not easily exhausted (Berg, & Hager, 2007, p. 194). They include energy sources such solar, geothermal wind, and hydro energy.
Among the four sources, wind energy and solar energy have the most benefits especially with regard to environmental pollution. On the other hand, non-renewable resources cannot be renewed when depleted. They include fossil energy sources such as oil, coal and gas (Berg, &Hager, 2007, p. 201). Unfortunately, a high percentage of all industrial activities rely on these fossil fuels hence the need for a sustainability plan for resolve the problems of pollution and overexploitation.
An examination of issues surrounding the exploitation of energy resources and human impacts on energy exploitation will highlight the importance of energy resources sustainability. A mitigation plan will ensure sustainable use of energy resources and prevent pollution.
My mitigation plan for ensuring sustainability of energy resources will primarily involve efforts to resolve the overexploitation of non-renewable energy resources, and enhance the adoption of clean renewable energy. I will engage in extensive consultation involving various energy stakeholders in identifying the energy action items.
The analysis of the current government energy activities and programs will be also essential in identifying the action items. I will also carry out an extensive review of potential energy solutions as presented on national, state and international researches or programs.
Since human activities such as building and construction, transportation, land use and waste disposal impact sustainable use of energy resources, my plan will include developing an education program on sustainability in energy resource use for citizens and the government. The action items for this plan will be many; I would research the energy usage in government facilities and industries. This will provide insights into the government’s role in pursuing efficient use of energy to meet the growing energy demand.
My mitigation plan will also involve exploring opportunities for ensuring energy reliability, price stability and steady supply of energy resources especially fossil fuels to meet the current and future energy needs. The enhancement of collaboration of the various energy stakeholders on energy issues will be a necessary action. In this way, sustainable exploitation of energy resources can be achieved. Lastly, I will explore the potential of renewable energy sources over fossil fuels.
1. Pursue the most efficient use of energy in facilities and industries
The biggest challenge facing most governments is how to ensure efficient and sustainable energy use in both public and private facilities. The economic benefits of efficient energy use are many; for instance, reduction in energy costs, high reliability due to reduced demand on the energy grid, and low greenhouse gas emissions especially from fossil fuels or power plants (Jacobson, & Delucchi, 2009, p. 59). Evidently, pursuing efficient energy use is paramount in the government’s efforts of establishing the energy demand and ensuring sustainability of energy resources. Thus, it will be the first item in my mitigation plan for energy resources.
2. Explore opportunities to ensure price stability and supply reliability of energy resources.
This will involve working with public and private energy agencies to ensure supply reliability and price stability of energy resources. An appropriate strategy for this is by encouraging the adoption of green power sources to reduce overdependence on fossil fuels. According to Bird and Kaiser (2007, p.8), the green utility programs that rely on renewable energy are increasingly being adopted by business and residential customers.
In most of these green utility programs, a distinguished value that attracts customers is the pricing and relative stability of these programs reflecting the price stability of renewable energy sources that supply the utility programs. In this way, the programs protect their customers from price fluctuations involving fossil fuels (Bird, & Kaiser, 2007, p.15). In so doing, these programs cushion customers, residential and businesses, from fossil fuel price increase.
3. Promoting collaboration of stakeholders on energy issues
This will involve creating sustainable partnerships among the different energy stakeholders at different levels to promote the formulation of policies that can enhance sustainability of energy resources. The lack of effective partnerships in the generation and distribution of energy resources is often the cause of price instability and unreliability of energy products especially fossil fuels such as gas or oil. Partnerships will strengthen the distribution channels and ensure an uninterrupted supply of energy resources to the market. Consequently, the prices will remain relatively stable and at the same time ensure a sustainable use of the energy resources.
4. Achieving a cleaner environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
To achieve a clean environment and minimize pollution, my mitigation plan involves encouraging the use of renewable sources of energy, recycling, and encouraging reduced consumption of fossil fuels in the private sector. This will help in improving the air quality and in combating climate changes resulting from global warming phenomenon. Local government authorities should also expand renewable energy technologies especially in cities and urban centers through collaboration with public and private agencies.
I will involve a series of steps in partnership with the government energy agencies, the local authorities and public and private agencies to implement the four energy action steps. With regard to action item one, the benefits of this integrated approach will be many; reduction in energy costs, increased supply reliability of energy resources and reduction in pollution.
In particular, I would first ensure that; (1) the concerned agencies maximize the opportunities for reducing energy consumption in public and private facilities and projects. This can be achieved through policies on efficient lighting and use of lighting controls, use of automated systems in industries and use of cool roofing in facilities and residential homes; (2) the government should implement guidelines to ensure the purchase of energy efficient equipment in government facilities.
Additionally, educating the public, schools and businesses about the benefits of efficient energy using energy-saving appliances will enhance energy efficiency. Another action step in this regard will be expanding of the adoption of renewable energy technologies and alternative energy sources in partnership with various agencies to help in the implementation of this policy. Additionally, by encouraging the purchase of electricity from green utility programs that depend on renewable energy sources, energy efficiency can be achieved.
With regard to action item number two, the action plan will encompass three action steps. Firstly, in partnership with local community, public and private agencies, I will explore opportunities to ensure price stability and supply reliability of non-renewable energy resources.
In particular, I will develop community-wide green utility programs to resolve the problems of price instability and supply fluctuations of petroleum products. In addition, I would develop community-wide electricity entities that act as administrators to ensure energy efficiency in residential places, and oversee the conservation programs. These entities will also allow a greater control by government authorities over the energy needs of urban centers and residential places.
Other action steps for my mitigation plan will include identification of suitable locations for new energy plants, which can produce clean energy to supplement community energy needs and relieve the demand on national supply. Additionally, I would work with local agencies to ensure that, the construction of new power plants does not have adverse effects on the environment.
For action item number three, I will undertake the following three steps. Firstly, I will collaborate with various business, community, and government organizations to develop sustainable energy policies at a local level. The policies will enhance the collaboration between energy generating agencies and distributors.
In this way, a reliable supply and price stability of energy sources can be enhanced. Secondly, the mitigation plan will encourage the development of appropriate federal, state and local legislations in line with the national energy needs. Collaborations will also attract investment into clean and renewable energy technologies such as wind power, solar energy and geothermal energy and create opportunities in the rapidly growing renewable energy sector (Smith et al., 2007, p. 801).
Action item four will involve four main action steps that would encourage the use of renewable energy sources and, at the same time, conserve the environment. In partnership with relevant agencies, I will promote the development of energy policies that ensure a high-energy efficiency and use alternative energy sources in vehicles. Local authorities will be encouraged to buy vehicle fleet, which use alternative clean energy sources including methanol, biodiesel, and electricity.
The policies will also aim at reducing the consumption of petroleum products in the private sector through the manufacture of fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative-fuel dependent vehicles. Emissions from vehicles that depend on fossil fuels form one of the principal atmospheric pollutants, which contribute immensely to global warming (Jacobson, & Delucchi, 2009, p. 63).
Development of appropriate policies on alternative work schedules will help to cut down the transportation costs and at the same time reduce emissions and energy consumption by vehicles. I would encourage employers to decentralize offices from cities to places near residential areas to reduce the travel distance by employers.
Consequently, the transportation sector consumption and emission of pollutants will decline in line with action item 4. Another action step will involve installation of renewable energy systems such as solar panels on public facilities, to reduce overdependence on fossil-fuel derived electricity. In addition, government incentives will attract manufacturers to invest in renewable energy sources to meet the national energy needs.
Furthermore, energy efficiency and adoption of renewable energy sources can be achieved by educating the public about renewable energy and energy efficiency. In partnership with public and government agencies, I would establish and expand education programs that offer training in renewable energy and efficient use of energy resources.
With regard to pollution, I will take immediate steps to reduce the current high rates of pollution and at the same time devise long-term solutions that can ensure a clean environment. I will also encourage the government to implement policies that prohibit dumping of wastes into water bodies. To achieve this, regular inspection of manufacturing industries and fines to factories exceeding the set limit of emissions will discourage pollution.
Action ItemsAction Steps Time line
Energy efficiency in facilities and industries
Reducing energy consumption by public and private facilities
Purchase of energy efficient equipment
Adoption of renewable energy technologies
Opportunities for price stability and supply reliability
Community-wide energy utility programs
New power plants
Suitable location of power plants
Enhancing stakeholder collaboration
Collaboration in policy development and implementation
Local, federal and state energy legislations
Encourage investment in the renewable energy sector
Cleaner environment and reduction of carbon emissions
Use of vehicles dependent on renewable energy and alternative energy sources
Fuel efficient vehicles
Reduction of energy consumption in the transport sector
Government incentives to renewable energy sector
Installation of renewable energy systems on public facilities
Public education programs